A former Royal Marines Officer and trained marine biologist, Monty has led teams through some of the most demanding environments on land and at sea. His adventures include discovering pre-historic settlements amid great white sharks, avoiding the bullets of poachers, and photographing a dangerous and rare crocodile underwater for the first time.
An entertaining and dynamic force on the podium, Monty is able to address topics such as effective leadership, staying motivated, teams under stress, and how to maintain the aim in a changing environment. Monty’s presentations range from hilarious after dinner speeches, sporting talks about his life as a dive journalist, providing entertaining professional links as a host or MC, right through to detailed motivational seminars, all of which are supported by excellent photographs and film footage.
Monty excels at entertaining his audience. He has an engaging personality and it is no surprise that the man who has been called ‘the new Cousteau’ and ‘a cross between Indiana Jones and a male model’ is increasingly in demand for TV presenting work.
In 2005, Monty presented an acclaimed ten-part TV series called ‘Great Ocean Adventure’ (Channel 5). The series follows Monty’s search to find some of the world’s most amazing giant species - and the film footage of his spectacular encounters with giant Manta Rays and huge Tiger Sharks (to name but a few) is stunning.
Monty’s style as a TV presenter exudes his enthusiasm, passion and sense of fun - qualities and talents he brings to every speaking engagement. No stranger to TV, Monty won a televised competition to find the ultimate high performer in Britain (Superhuman, Channel 4, 2004). Ten high achievers including athletes, entrepreneurs, models, and astronauts were selected from 2000 applicants and then given a series of extreme tests devised by experts in human performance.
After twelve tests that pushed the participants to their mental and physical limits, Monty was declared the winner in the live final watched by over a million people in May 2004. Since then, Monty’s TV work has included presenting a TV programme about Jules Verne’s epic fantasy Journey to the Centre of the Earth (C4, 2004); this cleverly popularized geology as well Verne’s classic science fiction novel.
Filming took the crew around the world, from active volcanoes in Hawaii to caves in Mexico, and from sweltering goldmines in South Africa to earthquake simulators in Japan. Presented by Monty throughout, the programme is a combination of swashbuckling science and raw adventure and aired to rave reviews.
Monty has also published his first book Dive: The Ultimate Guide (2004) and presented a DVD Totally Wrecked about a dive expedition to explore the best wrecks in the world. Monty Halls first made the news in early 2002 when he led a multi-national team of adventurers and scientists on an expedition to South East India to discover the ruins of a lost civilisation beneath the sea.
This was a discovery of global significance and established Monty as a new star of British exploration. The ruins, nicknamed the Indian Atlantis, are in the news again as they have become partially visible for the first time in more than 1,500 years after the Asian Tsunami in December 2004 cleared some of the sand that was covering it.
More recently in South Africa, Monty he led an international project seeking out sites of pre-historic settlements beneath the wild seas off the Cape of Good Hope. The team braved giant swells, cold waters and a significant shark threat to find several great caverns that are likely to hold some of the secrets of the origins of mankind.
Monty was the first to get an underwater picture of a rare crocodile species in the jungle pools of the mysterious Maya Mountains in Belize. In late 2001 he led a pioneering project 270 kilometers in sea kayaks up the inland shore of one of Africa's great rift lakes, photographing new underwater species and contacting remote villages and indigenous peoples en route. He has also photographed sharks in cave systems in South Africa, and led projects in Indonesia, Honduras and the Philippines.
Other expeditions include: leading a team of divers to the top ten sites on earth, swimming with great white sharks, investigating caverns and caves, and seeking out the best reefs on the planet (2002). In late 2003, Monty led another team to the ten greatest shipwrecks in diving, an expedition that included penetrating deep wrecks around the globe, swimming with wild killer whales off New Zealand, and exploring an ancient Maori cave system
What is unusual about many of Monty’s expeditions is that he often has to turn inexperienced individuals into effective teams that will cope with projects in extraordinary environments. Taking disparate groups, identifying a clear aim, and then creating the momentum and techniques to overcome any obstacle to achieve results – this a challenge Monty Halls has undertaken with characteristic gusto during a decade of projects.
People tend to react to the team environment in certain ways, regardless of the setting or circumstances. Monty believes that understanding these group dynamics are key to effective leadership, and Monty’s presentations reveal just why we behave the way we do when stress is applied, and how to manage such behaviour. His teams operate in some of the most rapidly changing environments on earth, and yet must learn to flex, evolve and adapt to their surroundings.
Monty’s presentations investigate:
• Group dynamics under pressure.
• Maintaining the aim in a changing environment.
• Effective communication.
• Getting it wonderfully right, and hideously wrong.
His style is exceptionally dynamic, light-hearted, frequently hilarious, and open to investigation and questioning from the floor.
In 2003 Monty Halls was awarded the Bish Medal by the Scientific Exploration Society for his services to exploration.